How To Stay In Touch With Your Belief System
PREFACE: It's important to note that over the past several years, probably since the availability of the smart phone, the number of idiots in society has grown dramatically. This post is not directed to them, because, well, it's not something they would understand. Thankfully, the idiot population is small and looks like it might be shrinking. We can only hope. Also thanks to Wayne Yoshida. He'll know why.
I like social media.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time here. Just fuckin’ around, mostly. But I found it a good outlet for my writing.
Every writer has their preferred media. Some write novels and screenplays. Some write greeting cards. To each his own.
Me? Well I write in a lot of different media professionally and, believe it or not, the last job I got paid to write was actually one of those little two fold print brochures. Talk about old school.
For my personal writing, I prefer this medium, which is called a longer format blog post. Generally these posts can be anywhere from 500 or 600 words up to a couple thousand, if you’re really crankin' it.
The longer format posts I write fall into a few categories.
The Industry Posts, in which I write about things like writing, advertising, marketing etc. I try to make these posts useful and instructive, especially for people who are interested in communications as a profession.
The Op/ed Posts, in which I write about stuff that I have noticed here and there and have an opinion about. I used to write a lot of about Trump, but there are only so many ways you can tell people he’s an asshole, and so I moved on. But mostly these posts can be about anything that I think might be interesting. Like today’s post which will (eventually) be about propaganda.
The Rants. These are obviously the most fun and the most therapeutic kinds of posts. I strongly advocate this form of therapy for anyone. Raging against the machine is not only healthy but it lets the system know that they’re really not very good at disguising their bullshit.
Which Leads Me Right To The Topic De Jour…Propaganda
One of my favourite adages is this: Agendas are like assholes, everybody’s got one.
There is more truth to this than most people realize. And as the split between the so called Left and so called Right in the world widens to the point where leaping from one side to the other would be considered a death defying act, these agendas have become more and more obvious.
The point being that very few people out there have any idea what the truth is anymore. And so the truth, by default, has become in great part, whatever people believe. This, in turn, is shaped by the messages they receive that support their belief.
I’m Not Nuts
It’s very difficult to talk about the agenda-based mechanisms that have been put in place to shape opinion on both sides of the cultural divide without sounding like some sort of conspiracy theorist.
But the simple fact is that they are there and they are working on you all the time.
They are there in the way that news gets reported, generally accompanied by violent footage that makes people feel like the world is a lot more dangerous than it is.
They are there in the ever escalating levels of violence that we see not just in the news, but in TV series and movies.
They are there in the huge influencer industry created on TV, radio and radio talk show and online podcasts.
And they are there on social media, slanting news of the day to generate fear and confusion in people.
Not Everybody Is Susceptible
We can be thankful that not everybody falls into the category of being seduceable by this sort of propaganda.
The majority of these people simply tune out and do not pay attention.
It’s not that they are necessarily apathetic, it’s that they are simply not interested in bullshit on either side of the divide.
Then there are the few of us who are left over and see the rise of propaganda for what it is, and try to get as many people as they can to think about what’s influencing them. To question sources. To look for agendas. And to decide if it’s simply designed to make them fearful or hateful of anyone or anything.
What Can Make You A Propaganda Victim
When you see storms like the ones that form in the Atlantic and sweep through Caribbean and southern US and the president of the United States talks about climate change as a hoax created by the Chinese, and you are willing to believe that.
When you experience strange weather like we did here in Southern Ontario last the spring, where the flooding from horrendous amounts of rainfall was something nobody can remember experiencing in their lives and you willing to write it off as nothing more than a freakish occurrence.
When you see systemic racism and police brutality on an accelerated pace and you are perfectly willing to believe that those promoting it might have a point.
When you see that more and more people have lost the ability to weigh both sides of an argument because the other side of it doesn’t agree with their thinking and you accept that as part of the way things are.
All of this is the direct result of the propaganda machine that has managed to get inside your head and re-shape your belief system.
Walk The Path Of A True Human Being
There is so much propaganda being pushed out there right now that you may find separating fiction from fact is virtually impossible.
But the reality of all of this has to do, purely and simply, with your own human emotions.
Everybody knows what’s right and what’s wrong. We have not lost that yet. Everybody knows that human beings are not designed to hate, but to love. Everybody knows that the truth is what your own 3-D experience tells you it is.
|f you believe everything in the last paragraph, understand that this should be the foundation of your personal belief system.
Define it in your head. Then read or listen to the propaganda and agenda-based messages and weigh them against what you, as a human being, genuinely believe.
If you make it a habit to do this, you will soon discover that your ability to see through the propaganda will improve. That you will be able to reject much more than you accept. And that your belief system will be the thing that powers your decisions, not all the external influences designed to shape your opinions.
It’s not about taking sides. It’s not about being part of one movement or another and closing your mind off to differing opinions. It’s simply about staying in touch with your own humanity, and making sure your belief system is strong and positive.
There is a radiant quality to this kind of thinking. Maybe you won’t change the world. But you can certainly change your own thinking and make your part of the world a better place because of it.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer, mildly opinionated op/ed blogger & beBee Brand Ambassador.
He is also a partner at Bullet Proof Consulting. www.bulletproofconsulting.ca
On beBee: https://www.bebee.com/bee/jim-murray
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